Through the Looking-Glass with Zara: Why This Modern Muse is the Alice and Wonderland of Its Time
Zara is a label that is kind of hard to describe if you have never delved down into the rabbit-hole leading to the best place you've never seen before. Basically, in a nutshell, Zara is like the junk drawer of the fashion world. There is something for everybody. Useful things. Pretty things. Weird things. The how-did-that-get-in-there thing. The "something you'll love and not be sure why" thing... and also a few hit-and-misses that you will bring home, laugh at, send back and fall in love with three months later when you realize that yes - whatever the fresh hell that weird thing was on your jeans was supposed to be there and it is now the hottest thing on Instagram... Annnnnnddddd you missed your chance to be the first.
Bold, Different and Everything You Never Knew You Wanted
If you are wondering what you will find at a Zara locale, that's like asking if a monkey is going to eat a banana or throw it at you. You just can't ever guess and it is this keep-them-guessing melting pot of style that makes Zara so damn fun to shop at.
One second, we feel like we are going to land on the front page of Vogue by accident and the next we wonder why there are frilly anklets tacked on to a capri-mom-jean. FTW. YOLO. Nobody knows, but it sure is a lot of fun to try to figure out if you really LOVE something or really hate it. It's a really polarizing experience and one you have to have at least weekly.
Basically, Zara just does the hell out of everything... for a hell of a lot less than runway price. Stop in and leave with a 169.00 cashmere sweater - be Audrey for a day. Or, go someplace else entirely, skip Tiffany's and channel Miley in some funky, quirk-inspired pom-pom sandals reminiscent of Anthropologie's unapologetically boho-city chic style.
Interesting Facts... Well, Because Why Not?
So, behind the mystery of Zara is, you guessed it... even more mystery. How? Why? What for? When can we get off the wait list? Those questions may never be answered. The label's mystical owner Amanicio Ortega has never given an interview. (Pst. They once also surpassed Bill Gates as the richest in the world. We pretend that Ortego lives in a dojo. We don't know why. It works for us.)
Additionally, the first store was opened in a coastal town, A Coruna, in Northwest Spain back in 1975. This explains a lot of the Spanish inspirations that you likely run across while scrolling during your coffee break. In fact, 50% of what you see is still manufactured in Spain. From flamenco-esque ruffles to sea-side muses, you can definitely see the correlation once you know the backstory, but it is so subtle and well-done that you won't feel like you are costumed... just ready for whatever.
Maybe the best fact of all is that Zara actually cares what you think, damn it. The team of inspired designers at Zara are constantly and consistently changing styles and editing designs based on customer feedback. That's pretty sweet. It is, after all, a designer's world and we just live in it. At least, that's what we were taught to believe. Ask no questions. Trust no one....
Truth is that Zara cares that you hated that thing they did last week and they want to fix it. They will too. They won't sleep until it gets done. They don't want you to have lumpy-boob spillage, either. That serves nobody. You'll love the stuffings out of that bomber when it comes back. You'll name your first-born after it. Bomber Johnson. We like it... has spunk. Way better than Bra-top Johnson. Although, when in Rome.
Zara is one of our favorite labels because it gets that none of us are alike. You want to go to the market in a clog blooming with flowers and tassels? Well, you do that. You want to be the power-b*tch in that sophisticated pencil dress with just the right amount of feminist-energy that says, "I coded this program. I can code you. I coded you in my sleep. Coder." Zara's that place, that rabbit-hole, that place where all your dreams come true and you end up on the other side of the looking-glass where up is down... and you always find what you want - and a couple of things you never knew existed beyond the riverbank.